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Old 18th September 2010
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TerryP TerryP is offline
Arp Constable
Join Date: May 2008
Location: USofA
Posts: 1,546

If the Russian government decided to go far enough, yes shep they could make it impossible to download vanilla OpenBSD (etc).

Why? Well if we exclude long distance wireless fun and arms races to hook on to service outside the border, if the government can control the equipment that makes wired Internet access *work* within Russia's borders: they have the power to control it. If you have that much control over Internet access, then it is technically possible (even if it has never been done to my knowledge) to filter the traffic as much as you are willing to throw effort into doing it. Just because it isn't child's play doesn't mean it is impossible.

For sake of exploration, let's postulate that Russia does or can institutionalise the ISPs within their borders and all the stuff those ISPs rely on to provide clients with Internet service. Up until the point that it leaves the Russian border. In short that means the Russian Federation could put any ISP in or out of business as they choose by managing the resources required for running an ISP in Russia.

Here's a little off the top of my sick head for a starting point:
  • Block all known mirrors for black listed software
    • Write software to auto-block all mirrors the distribution publishes on the web.
    • Write software to apply heuristics to block any site and or traffic that looks like one of the above
    • If packet stream is consistent with a given pattern, block it dynamically (e.g. if it looks like part of the linux kernel, screw the users download)
  • Require state approved software for computers to connect to the Internet
    • Change the implementation regularly so by the time it's reverse engineered, it's already far to outdated to connect.
    • Track down and arrest any 'net activity that looks "Suspicious", forcing reverse engineering efforts out of the country (then block Internet access to it as per above)
    • Take over wireless technology to make side stepping this with ad-hoc networks harder.
    • Outlaw directly or indirectly (e.g. the equipment needed) to connect to the Internet via other means then the federally approved methods, to make it high risk to get more 'creative' about side stepping it.
    • Require everything to be registered and contain a GPS tracking device. Big brother is always clubbing you!
  • Force software vendors to comply
    • MS complies or they are forced out of the Russian market.
    • Ditto for Apple
    • If they bug out, roll own State Approved versions of software
    • Push it down other peoples throats in the same way: search engines, email, etc
    • Make huge profits off that.
    • Instant nationalist propaganda off the above

That would make the best way to get basic stuff done, "Safely" require loading free software OSes off physical medium purchased over the black market, or other wise smuggled into the country. Even then the authorities can just waltz in and take your computers because some dick across the street says they saw you using something that is not paid for Microsoft tech.

Government has the power to do anything they damn well please. It's like taking the proverbial candy from a baby. Even in America, all we have in our favour is some bundles of paper saying what candy we are allowed to keep. The only way that can be enforced is with the force of the people being governed. Perhaps I just put to much stock in my nations declaration of independence and to little in the concept of government lol
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Last edited by TerryP; 18th September 2010 at 06:47 PM.
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